The Arkas Art Center opens its doors to the mysterious magical world of the Thousand and One Nights. This magnificent corpus of tales from a variety of Oriental sources was transmitted orally over the vastness of many countries before their translation by the writer, scholar and traveler Antoine Galland took Europe by storm, and then the world. The tales of the Thousand and One Nights had a major influence upon the development of the fantasy literature of the 18th century, which evolved in tandem with a passion for all that was exotic.
Over the course of the centuries, to the present day, they continue to be a source of inspiration for art and literature. Every artist that has worked with the Thousand and One Nights has been the richer for it.
The Tales of Scheherazade
Scheherazade, the main character of the Thousand and One Nights, is the most famous storyteller of all time. Each night she weaves one tale into another, each more captivating than the one before. Amidst a geographical backdrop that stretches from Arabia, Persia, Egypt and North Africa to China, Scheherazade whiles the hours away with her tales that follow one upon the other, evoking for her audience a variety of exotic lands, in which many adventures transpire. These tales have lasted for far more than a “Thousand and One Nights” and they unfold in a surreal universe. These works of immense imagination continue to remain an inexhaustible source of inspiration over the course of the centuries.
What you will find in the exhibit The Thousand and One Nights:
• Accessories, sketches for costumes for operas and ballets, created by Christian Lacroix and Franca Squarciapino, works that marked a milestone and which had considerable impact in both France and the entire world;
• Manuscripts of the 16th, 17th, and 18th centuries, relating the tales, along with the journals of Antoine Galland, who was an envoy to the East during the reign of Louis XIV;
• Paintings, statues, tapestries and decorative objects that reflect the magnificence of the palace, another important “character” that figures in The Thousand and One Nights;
• Installations by contemporary artists Felekşan Onar and Sühandan Özay Demirkan
• Musical instruments from the East.
Institutions that have lent works
Bibliothèque-Musée de la Comédie Française
Bibliothèque Nationale de France (BNF)
Theater Arts Department
Bibliothèque-Musée de l’Opéra, Oriental
Manuscripts, Rare Book Archive
Epinal, Musée de l’Image
Fondation Custodia, Collection Frits Lugt
Izmir University of Economics, Beaux-Arts and
Moulins, Centre National du Costume de Scène
Musée de la Musique et du Son - MÜZİKSEV
Opéra National de Paris, Palais Garnier
Vichy, Musée de l’Opéra